Analysis of fatal pedestrian injuries in King County, WA, and prospects for prevention

Public Health Rep. 1989 May-Jun;104(3):293-7.


Pedestrian fatalities caused by motor vehicles in King County, WA, over a 12-month period were reviewed to examine the potential for prevention by various strategies. Cases were identified through the King County Medical Examiner's Office. Between April 1, 1985, and March 31, 1986, a total of 38 pedestrians died of motor vehicle injuries. The victims were generally children (N = 11), the elderly (N = 13), or intoxicated adults (N = 9). Supervision of the child was inadequate in 64 percent of the children's deaths. The driver was at fault in deaths of seven children, five adults, and three elderly persons. None of the children and only one of the elderly victims was injured at night. The majority of injuries occurred on major thorough-fares; only 16 percent occurred on residential streets. Possible strategies for prevention appear to include improved enforcement of pedestrian right-of-way laws, changes in vehicle design, modification of the environment (particularly in urban areas), and improved training programs for children.

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention*
  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Washington